One Mocha, no NOT in the garage! Yes caramel drizzle, no, drywall!

Bill wrote:

Sean,

I’ve been dating this girl who does marketing for a living and I am beginning to realize the dependency she has on her phone.  She is always talking on it and it leaves me to do the apologizing.  We’ll be at a restaurant and the waitress will be taking our order, and if her phone rings, she’ll answer it and just point to the menu item she wants.  If the waitress starts asking questions, she’ll just wave her off.  She’ll also talk in line while checking out at the store or coffee shop, she’ll talk through a drive through, she’ll even pick up her phone and talk while we’re visiting with my family.  She doesn’t excuse herself, she just talks right there and attempts to quiet everyone in the room down so SHE can finish her call.

She’s never apologized for any of this.  I end up apologizing for her.  In fact, when I confronted her about this, she said her phone was an extension of her job and she could either be stuck in an office all day on her phone or spending time with us.  She then made me choose which would be better.  I wanted to say office, but I didn’t.

How do I make her see that her behavior is rude, disruptive, and needs to change without upsetting her?

Bill

Bill,

Don’t worry about upsetting her.  These types of people are often times so self-centered, they feel any comment toward them is an attack of sorts.  I hate it when I see phone users like this.  If they’re having a loud conversation while waiting in line at the bank, if they talk while placing a coffee order, or if they answer their phone in a movie theater, it just makes me want to backhand the phone right off of the side of their face.

People need to realize that just because a phone is portable, it doesn’t mean you can talk about anything anywhere. I don’t want to hear about your cousin’s yeast infection while I’m ordering a pizza, I don’t want to hear you chewing an employee out while I’m buying tickets to Valleyfair, and I certainly don’t want you having ANY text or voice conversation in the movie theater.  These people often lead drama filled, stressful lives..and I am glad I am not them.  I’ve learned when it’s appropriate to just hang up the phone (or not pick it up).

I hate to say this, but these people don’t often realize the error of their ways.  They feel that their phone is their professional/social lifeline, and without it, they’ll shrivel up and fade away.  You may not have any luck in showing this woman that her phone habits are rude and disruptive, but give it another shot.  Tell her that you’ve had enough of her phone issues and ask her to stop.  If she gets upset, that’s fine.  Stand your ground and explain that it won’t be tolerated any longer and let her know you care for her, but you’ve had enough.  If she ends things, that’s for the best.  If she ceases her behavior, then you can thank her for being understanding.  If she keeps it up, you’ll have to end things with her…and that too will be for the best.  No one deserves to be second string to a phone.  Not the Starbucks girl, not the bagger at Rainbow, and certainly not a boyfriend/girlfriend.

Good luck Bill.

Sean

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